But it’s dirty!

dirt
Happy birthday to me!!

Thought you could get rid of me, right?  Uh, huh, I’m like that bad penny that keeps coming around.

Actually, my dad warned me about being busier after retirement than before.  My gracious!  Right now I’m sitting on daughter #1’s back porch in California as her daughter #2 is getting ready to make her world debut…the sooner the better as far as mom is concerned.  (Remember those days, ladies?)

From here I fly to upstate New York where my own daughter #2 is recuperating from recent knee surgery.  All this after returning from seeing daughter #3 and fam over in Scandinavia earlier this summer. 

Has anybody got the time??  My body’s not sure anymore.

Oh yeah, then there’s this manuscript I’m trying my hand at writing, like half of the world also does.  But hey, it’s retirement!

Now, both of my sons-in-law are gardeners at heart, and I like to take cues from them.  Sitting out here in the beautiful southern Cal morning, I’m appreciating some of Mike’s creative handiwork remembering how we talked about improving our dirt—his is clay-ish, and mine back in the Midwest, who knows.  As I walked out to the porch this morning, I note bags of nice brown mulch.  He has plans!

It reminds me how the top of my wish list for any gifts for the past several years as been: dirt.  Bob, however, does not find that particularly appropriate or romantic, as in…

“No, honey, I don’t want to buy you dirt for our anniversary!  Can’t you think of something else?”

“But”, I counter, “you like to eat the things it grows, right?”

It doesn’t work.

So, I continue to buy myself dirt, the good stuff, to improve the soil in my gardens so I can improve the crops I plant. 

My sons-in-law and I also enjoy talking about compost, how to make it better, how we create our areas, all that.  It might not make for engaging conversation at a red-carpet party, but nonetheless.

As the old saying goes “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.  So true.  How often is something I initially see as unclean or unworthy of my attention actually show up as foundational to what God is trying to accomplish in my life?  My vision needs to be renewed.

“So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now!”

Now there’s food for thought, but first the food must be planted in the dirt.

Okay, family’s waking up soon and grandma is going to be on duty.  Hope y’all are fine and I’m still here.  God bless!

1 Corinthians 5:16  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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The Importance of Being Ernest

woman-565127_1920I love that title movie based on the play by Oscar Wilde.  It’s a screwball comedy about mixed up identities and a starry-eyed young heroine who finally figures out who’s who.  And she’s quite earnest about figuring out who Ernest really is. 

If you haven’t seen it, do.  Good fun.

But the point is well taken, the importance of proper identity, that is.  The age old, “who am I really” with the corollary, “what’s actually going on here?” Continue reading “The Importance of Being Ernest”

Just part of the routine

home-office-336377_1920We have a break in the heat and humidity from the late summer weather here in southern MO.  That means this morning the AC is off and the fresh early morning air is coming in through the open windows.  Then I have also gone through my typical routine: dog out—check, oatmeal in the microwave—check, hot tea made—check.  You know, all the things you kinda do on auto pilot.

Another one for me is: open the computer to email, not to check my email, but just in case daughter #3 calls in from Sweden.  #1 lives in California (two time zones away) and #2 lives in New York (one time zone away), and naturally I love talking with them just as much too.  But the baby of the family had to move SEVEN (count ‘em, 7!) time zones away, so communication is a little more challenging if you want some face time. Continue reading “Just part of the routine”

Check marks

ok-1976099_1280As I write this, it is almost 5AM and I’ve been up since 3:45AM.  It’s called jet lag.  I’m wide awake, made more permanent by the nice black tea I bought while in Sweden (seven time zones away), and might as well start my day while my brain and body make the adjustments.  My “to-go” list is as follows:

  • Laundry
  • Groceries
  • Weed-whacking
  • Bug spray
  • Rake the grass
  • Fix the carrier
  • Thank you note to ____

And I won’t bother to write the rest.  (I did get the yard mowed yesterday, as it was looking more in need of brush-hogging after being gone for two weeks.) Continue reading “Check marks”

Just another part of a healthy garden

gardener-3336148_1920It’s August, and we’ve finally gotten a little rain.  My lack of gardening prowess is showing of late.  Part of it is not my fault—the flowers look considerably scorched because I’ve reserved most of the watering for the edibles. 

Unfortunately, even the tomatoes and cukes are having a tough time, which IS my fault. 

Composting, planting, weeding—I’ve definitely increased my skill set over the years.  Pruning, however…not so much:

garden

Problematic on a few different levels, right?  Continue reading “Just another part of a healthy garden”

Pass me the brush

paint1It’s done!!  We were able to get the caution strip painted by the Daycare/Preschool’s new parking area BEFORE the doors opened on Monday morning.  We had already had a couple of people trip up on the overhanging lip to the sidewalk, so this really needed to be done.

Others in the church had helped lay the concrete.  They had also researched and provided what was needed for the paint job. I guess I was the erstwhile crew-chief for this part, so I got there early to sweep and tape, when another church member showed up to help.  As he started on one end and I on the other, I yelled down to him that I had never painted concrete before, so if he had any suggestions…

“Just start painting!”

Hmmm..I liked that.  Do the best you can with what you have and keep the main directive in mind, i.e., prevent injury with a warning stripe before the kids come on Monday. 

And we had some pretty good help, I want you to know!

Okay, so it wasn’t perfect, but it’s not like we were asked to do brain surgery.  There may need to be a few touch ups later.  But mission accomplished, and actually quite well, if I do say so myself!

Nehemiah also had a task that laid heavily on his heart—rebuild the protective wall around Jerusalem. Importantly, he also had a clear directive from God AND confirmation to match the weight of the task before him AND he had done his research, which was actually ongoing, as the narrative continues.  (Slightly more than painting a church caution strip.)

Once construction started, there was immediate backlash:

Sanballat was very angry when he learned that we were rebuilding the wall. He flew into a rage and mocked the Jews, saying in front of his friends and the Samarian army officers, “What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they’re doing? Do they think they can build the wall in a single day by just offering a few sacrifices?  Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap— and charred ones at that?”

I find this to be such a perfect picture of how our enemy, our truest enemy that is—Satan, reacts when we begin the task God has given us to do.  Note, however, it is (1) a directive from God, and (2) it has been confirmed to the level of the task’s weight, and (3) the pre-project research had been done (“counting the cost” and all that). 

Then I just have to start “painting”.  God is more than able to touch up a few strokes of misplaced color along the way.

Nehemiah 4:1,2 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Where’s my brush?

paint-117599_1280As I write this, I’m waiting for a phone call.  Our church recently completed pouring concrete for a much-needed upgrade on the parking spaces by the daycare facility.  They were asking for help and so, although Bob and I have absolutely no experience in these things, we showed up to see what we could do, which was as expected—very little.  So I provided food for the workers for a few days. 

Now some painting needs to be done, a yellow caution strip to prevent tripping over the little step-up to the sidewalk.  Again, I’ve never painted on concrete, but put a brush in my hand and tell me where and I might actually make a small contribution!  (Or a mess, or both…) Continue reading “Where’s my brush?”

“That’s entertainment!” (not…)

tv-1844964_1920Just bought a Roku at the beginning of summer.  You need to understand that such a plunge into entertainment technology is a significant step for this retiree.  I grew up with four or five channels on a TV of which you had to walk across the room and manually turn a knob to “surf”. 

Bob is well please with the sports coverage, as well as the savings from “cutting the cable”.  Being a big movie buff, he’s also enjoying the multiple choices and genres in those offerings as well.  Which means, as he is well aware, that for us to watch a movie together, it has be what he now calls “a Dawn movie”.  Basically, that means it must have a puppies and butterflies ending. 

Don’t give me angst and call it entertainment—I have enough of that in real life. Continue reading ““That’s entertainment!” (not…)”

Inventory

Inventory is not necessarily one of my favorite pastimes.  I tend to be a bit (okay, a lot) more spontaneous (oh alright, haphazard) in my organizational skill set than my husband, Bob.  In the past 39 years, that much is evident.

Nonetheless, now that retirement has arrived, the massive purging process at our homestead will soon begin (yeah, right.)  At least, that’s the plan. Continue reading “Inventory”

Starry-eyed

superman-3417853_1920My culture is one of American idols.  By that I mean Americans are prone to having heroes.  Just look at the resurgence of the Marvel and DC franchises on the silver screen, and the explosion of comicons and cosplay.  (I had to look up what cosplay was—that’s the adult version of what you used to do as a kid by clothes-pinning one of Mom’s towels around your neck and pretending you were Superman.) Continue reading “Starry-eyed”